Planners: No changes to subdivision

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Suffolk Planning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend denial of hotly contested changes to a planned residential development on Pitchkettle Road.

Residents of neighboring Westhaven Lakes packed City Council chambers for the public hearing on the proposed Foxfield Meadows. Nine people spoke out against the proposed changes.

The neighborhood already has been approved with 128 single-family homes and 114 multi-family units. However, the developers, Cloverleaf Development, wanted to increase the number of multi-family units to 158, reduce cash proffers and alter minimum square footage and design standards for single-family dwellings.

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The changes would create a substandard development that offered less money for infrastructure improvements while putting more of a burden on that infrastructure, opponents said.

“The proffer changes stand in stark contrast to the community and neighborhood that currently exists,” said Fred Taylor, an attorney with Stallings and Bischoff who is representing the Westhaven Lakes homeowners’ association.

Opponents in the nearby subdivision also are opposed to a connector road to their neighborhood and creating a glutted housing market.

“This area does not need the additional development,” John Mitchell said. Referring to other proposed developments that haven’t materialized, he added, “We don’t need another empty field with plastic pipes sticking out.”

Traffic problems also are a concern. The exit of the proposed neighborhood is located near a curve in the road, while the Westhaven Lakes exit provides more visibility. Westhaven Lakes residents fear the traffic will cut through their neighborhood to get to a better exit on Pitchkettle Road.

A few miles away, the roadway through the Boston community is so narrow two cars can barely pass, neighbor Lydia Duke said.

“We live in fear of hitting someone,” she said. Adding traffic to the roads would only compound the situation.

The developer had requested the Planning Commission delay a decision for 60 days to allow time for a meeting with the community to talk about solutions to the connector road issue.

But planners said the developers have had plenty of time to work on their plan.

“I’m having trouble accepting the forcing of anything in that property,” commissioner Arthur Singleton said.

Taylor said his clients were pleased the decision had been made so quickly.

“I don’t know that 60 days is going to change any of that,” Taylor said of his clients’ opposition.

The vote will go to City Council on July 20.